(2) what criteria are used for the appointment of members of NHS Supply Chain clinical councils; and what appointments have been made;
(3) pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, column 372W, on NHS: procurement, what (a) resources and (b) information are available to members of NHS Supply Chain clinical councils in their evaluation of the product requirements of the NHS.
NHS Supply Chain is currently devising product councils that will cover its major product categories. The first two councils will cover the areas of theatre and nursing and it is expected that they be set up towards the end of this year.
No appointments have been made yet. The appointment criteria for product council members will cover the level of experience of each applicant, including both academic qualifications and clinical experience in the field. Decisions will be made based on the application form and curriculum vitae of each applicant.
As the product councils are not yet operating, resources and information about the evaluation of national health service product requirements are not yet available.
NHS Supply Chain employs a number of qualitative measures during the tender evaluation process. Owing to the complexity and variety of products and services within the NHS supplies market, these are determined on a case by case basis against the background of the specific category market. As a rule the measures will include requests for evidence of quality testing that meets relevant British, European or international standards, independent testing, product evaluation by clinicians, caterers or other end users. NHS Supply Chain will also facilitate product trials with national health service trusts where possible.
Evidence of suppliers’ quality control systems are also reviewed and NHS Supply Chain actively monitors existing suppliers’ delivery performance and product quality during the life of the contract to ensure that the NHS secures reliable and consistent supply of effective, value for money products for use in patient care.